Malaybalay expats get news on raging fire courtesy of Facebook

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/11 July) — Worrying, curious and homesick residents of Barangay Aglayan here who are now based elsewhere in the Philippines and abroad used the popular social networking website Facebook to get updates on the late afternoon fire that struck Aglayan last Thursday.

The Aglayanons react to a three-minute video posted by Raquel Batusin, who is living nearby, of the fire showing a helpless fire truck against the mammoth late afternoon fire. The video was taken by her husband Eric.

An estimated P2-million damage was brought by the fire that destroyed a cluster of houses and business establishments along the Lantapan-Sayre Highway junction in Aglayan. The cause of fire was traced to an overheated LPG tank.

“Where is this Raquel? Was there anyone hurt?” asked LSMP, friend of the video uploader.

The video clip showed the fire at around 6 p.m. and was uploaded minutes after.

“Thank God nobody got hurt or died. I just lost the appetite for dinner,” Batusin replied. Her family owns an internet cafe just across the street.

“Where is this? Is this on the road going to Lantapan? It’s good it happened day time,” another friend reacted.

Most of those who joined the Facebook thread expressed relief nobody died or that their properties were spared.

But others online were unfortunate to find out their houses back home were on fire.

“I still can’t believe that we have lost our house. I have no more roof to return to on my homecoming,” wrote a lady friend who works in the United States.

The others were quick to share encouragements.

“Don’t’ worry my friend; you can build a bigger and better one. Let’s just be thankful everybody is safe,” the uploader said.

“We’ll be out of this mess, cousin,” assured another reactor.

“The Good Lord has a plan for all of us. God is still good that no one got hurt,” said another.

But others could not contain their frustration.

“I really, really felt bad. When we talk about like this in the Philippines, the fire truck always comes too late, properties are already gone and people killed. It’s not like in other places. I feel sorry for all the victims,” another reactor said.

“Why is it like that? The fire is so big already yet there are no firemen yet,” said another friend.

But many others were thankful that they could at least receive updates like the video about what happened, in a fast and modern way.

“Thanks for uploading and sharing to us this news, though I lost some appetite indeed,” another reactor said.

Batusin has also uploaded other videos in her Facebook account, including her coverage of the campaign sorties of a local candidate for mayor and the street dancing and other performance during the 2010 Kaamulan Festival. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)